Review Blog

Jul 15 2015

Troll Mountain by Matthew Reilly

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Pan Macmillan Australia, 2015. ISBN 9781743537053
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. The Northsmen are a proud race. They have a ruling family and laws and tales from the past they must follow. The mountain trolls have ruled over them forever. The trolls require food sacrifices and for this the river is allowed to flow. A sickness has swept the land and it is said the trolls have the cure. The prince takes a small party of men to plead with the trolls for the magical cure but they do not return. Raf, our main character, is 17 and questions everything. This puts him in the firing line for ridicule as the Northsmen follow traditions - you do not question or challenge the ruling family! When his beloved sister falls ill with the sickness, Raf is determined to steal the cure and save her and their tribe. Raf is headed for an adventure of a lifetime where rules will be challenged and he is able to determine his own path. Will the hermit in the Badlands be a friend or a foe? Will befriending a lone troll help Raf and his sister? Can a skinny 17 year old boy take on the king of the trolls?
This quick moving, descriptive story will engage readers as Raf battles trolls and proves he is a lot smarter than those around him. With Ko as a guiding hand, a passion for change and the ability to think of others, Raf will get the elixir for his tribe. The nasty prince will not steal the glory!
This book is highly recommended for boys aged 9+ but I'm sure most girls will enjoy it too. The adventure will engage reluctant readers and show them they can make a change and that old ways aren't always the best way. It would be a great class novel to discuss feelings during the Child Protection curriculum, navigate the structure of a narrative and support the writing of adventure stories.
Kylie Kempster

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